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WeRobot 2015 Panel 10: “Personal Responsibility and Neuroprosthetics”

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Published on Apr 29, 2015

Authors: Patrick Moore, Timothy Brown, Jeffrey Herron, Margaret Thompson, Tamara Bonaci, Sara Goering, Howard Chizeck
Discussant: Meg Leta Jones
Paper: http://bit.ly/1J4Mtfp

This paper investigates whether giving users volitional control over therapeutic brain implants is ethically and legally permissible. We believe that it is not only permissible—it is in fact advantageous when compared to the alternative of making such systems’ operation entirely automatic. From an ethical perspective, volitional control maintains the integrity of the self by allowing the user to view the technology as restoring, preserving, or enhancing one’s abilities without the fear of losing control over one’s own humanity. This preservation of self- integrity carries into the legal realm, where giving users control of the system keeps responsibility for the consequences of its use in human hands.

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